I wrote this on New Year’s Day 2013, I think. The day before I’d spent a few hours hiking around Peace Valley Lake in Bucks County, so that’s where some of the imagery began.
New Year’s Day
The woods smell like good dogs
in the rain, walnuts and acorns cracked
and crunching under boots, the kind
of light that comes like notes
in music, rests where it needs,
holding onto bare bushes or
the cracks in fallen trees.
It’s not the rot and rhythm
of woods that’s right,
the lie of snow against water,
a shifted step from stone to stone
and the life he thinks he lives.
The trail is wide and flat
with rocks he names for dogs
he knew, dark hackles raised to the light.